What is GDPR and how it affects your business

Oh no what is this I keep hearing about GDPR, it sounds scary and could destroy my business.
Well firstly don’t worry, make a cup of tea, sit down, and relax. It is nothing to worry about. It is simply a new regulation that will replace the Data Protection Act.
But just to ease your worries, we have put together this guide on what GDPR is, how it will affect you, how you can ensure you comply with it and what Text Marketer are doing to ensure we adhere to the new regulations.
What is GDPR?
1. What is GDPR?
GDPR is the EU General Data Protection Regulation which will replace the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 in the UK and the equivalent legislation across the EU Member States.
It will come into effect on the 25th May 2018 and a failure to meet the new regulations could result in a fine.
The reason behind the new regulations is to give EU citizens more privacy by updating the existing regulations so they reflect today’s world. What they have done is increase the term ‘personal data’ to include online information such as location, IP address, cookie and so forth.
2. How will it affect your business?
As long as you follow the guidelines there will be not problem and you can continue to trade as usual. But not abiding by the new regulations could mean a fine of up to €20m or 4% of annual turnover whichever is greater.
Within your business you will need to inform all employees about the new GDPR and how they should be more mindful with customers information.
3. What you can do to comply with it
To ensure you comply with the GDPR ensure that all personal data you keep on customers is in a safe and secure location. The best thing to do is have a read of the document created by the ico. with 12 steps on preparing for the GDPR which you can read here.
For SMS purposes there are a few things you need to ensure you are doing your side when sending an SMS message to your customers.
The people you contact need to have opted into your marketing messages. There are two ways this can be done.
1. The best way is where you have specifically requested their permission to send them SMS messages, this can be through a tick box on your website. For example, you could have a tick box saying ‘Please tick this box if you would like to receive exclusive offers and news’. They tick that and they have opted-in and you can send them your marketing messages.
2. The other way is where you have already acquired someone’s mobile number, either because they were a past customer or they contacted you to discuss a service or product. In this case you are allowed to send them an SMS message, but only about the product or service they purchased or talked about. So you can not send them a message about boats if what you spoke to them about was shoes.
It is good practice to keep a record on how you obtained the customers ‘acceptance’ into your SMS messages – this means if there is a complaint you can provide evidence easily.
You must ensure that customers can easily opt-out of your marketing messages – we provide a free opt-out code that you can add onto the end of your message, so no worries there.
4. What we are doing to ensure we comply
We are compliant with all the requirements of GDPR,  we do have a GDPR project underway which will modify a small number of internal processes to support compliance with the incoming regulation.
In terms of security Text Marketer only operate via Direct UK Network connections. No overseas or ‘grey’ routes are used. So all your info and messages are completely safe with Text Marketer.
If you require any more information about the GDPR and your business, or how we are ensuring that we comply with it fully, please email us at support@textmarketer.co.uk and we will be glad to provide you with more information.